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Melbourne Town Hall

Peter Maltezos's picture

Text from Walking Melbourne

The National Trust guide to the historic and architectural landmarks of central Melbourne

Melbourne Town Hall

Corner Swanston and Collins Streets


The Town Hall reflects the civic pride of Melbourne’s citizenry, and the Italianate / French Second Empire design, dominated by a spire-like clock tower, served as a prototype for most town halls in Victoria. Designed by Joseph Reed and partner Frederick Barnes, the main hall was built by 1867, the tower added in 1888. After a fire, the auditorium was enlarged and rebuilt in 1928 in a Stripped Classical style by Stephenson & Meldrum, graced with large murals by Napier Waller. The Administration Building designed in a closely matching style by Grainger Kennedy & Little with JJ & EJ Clark, was opened in 1910, and includes the ornate Council chambers, with rich timber and plaster decoration inspired by native plants.


Melbourne Town Hall before the portico was added in 1888 and the auditorium enlarged in 1928.


The interior of the old smaller Town Hall auditorium that was destroyed by fire in 1925.


Postcards of the Melbourne Town Hall throughout the ages, below.


One can see the new enlarged auditorium on Collins Street in this postcard below.


The Town Hall at night.


Below, four of my own at street level, Swanston Street.

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Peter Maltezos's picture

In 1880 minus clock in the clocktower and portico on Swanston Street.

I collect, therefore I am.

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Development & Planning

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 00:00
City of Port Phillip will this week indicate that it has sufficient reason to object to two pending projects in Port Melbourne. 17 Rocklea Drive and 365-391 Plummer Street are both within the Wirraway Precinct of Fishermans Bend, and both projects are under the authority of the Minister for Planning.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Monday, November 20, 2017 - 12:00
The marriage of old and new can be a difficult process, particularly when the existing structure has intrinsic heritage value. In previous times Fitzroy's 237 Napier Street served as the home of furniture manufacturer C.F. Rojo and Sons. Taking root during 1887, Christobel Rojo oversaw operations though over time the site would become home to furniture manufacturer Thonet.


Visual Melbourne

Friday, August 25, 2017 - 07:00
The former site of John Batman's home, Batman's Hill is entering the final stages of its redevelopment. Collins Square's final tower has begun its skyward ascent, as has Lendlease's Melbourne Quarter Commercial and Residential precinct already. Melbourne Quarter's first stage is at construction and involves a new 12-storey home for consultancy firm Arup along with a skypark.

Transport & Design

Saturday, December 9, 2017 - 00:00
Spring Street has released details of a large shutdown of the Pakenham/Cranbourne and Frankston lines which will allow workers to complete major upgrades to the rail infrastructure. The work is required to allow for the introduction of the new High Capacity Metro Trains (HCMTs) and will involve upgrading power & catenary, signalling and communications equipment in the Dandenong (Pakenham/Cranbourne) corridor.

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 12:00
Cbus Property's office development for Medibank at 720 Bourke Street in Docklands recently became the first Australian existing property to receive a WELL Certification, Gold Shell and Core rating. The WELL rating goes beyond sustainable building features with a greater focus on the health and well-being of a building's occupants.